Ostensibly, rules are put in place to protect people or property.
Whether it is to protect property or people, the goal should always be to prevent harm.
But what happens when the rule that’s been set in place seems to do more harm than good?
This was the problem that brought Redditor and Original Poster (OP) ANsdinfd to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for telling my HOA to f*ck off because my son violates their curfew?”
OP dove directly into the problem.
“My dumb*ss HOA imposed a 9:45 pm curfew for those under 18 in our HOA.”
“Mostly because of minors drinking and doing drugs in a park and playground.”
“I think there may have been some graffiti and vandalism.”
“Seems pretty reasonable right? to f*ck over everyone else for the actions of a few, which btw has done f*cking nothing to stop whoever is doing this.”
“The problem actually got worse after the curfew, but now whenever kids lose track of time, they end up having to spend the night at neighbor’s houses in fear of getting in trouble with the HOA for breaking curfew.”
“This is as f*cking stupid as laws banning guns or drugs.”
“I’m pretty sure that’s unconstitutional and there’s talk of a lawsuit.”
They did give context for why their son should be exempt.
“My 17-year-old son works at a movie theater and comes home from work often times at midnight or so.”
“He has been asked by HOA board members why he’s violating curfew and he explains why.”
“They said it doesn’t matter and he’s getting a warning.”
“He told them to go to hell and he doesn’t respect them or give a f*ck.”
“I got a letter with a fine.”
“I responded back and told them I’m not paying.”
“I got a visit from an HOA member and he told me I’d be getting fined as long as my son violated curfew.”
“I told him to eat sh*t and closed the door.”
“I’d like to see them bring this to court.”
“They keep coming to me and I just slam the door on them.”
Having laid out the issue, OP wanted feedback from Reddit.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some responses suggested legal measures be taken.
“Get a lawyer.”
“They need to draft a letter to the HOA and get that fine dismissed.”
“If you don’t then the HOA can put a lien on the house etc.”
“Curfews always allow for employment travel so this would be no different but they need to be put in their place before you have to deal with the consequences.”~ObjectiveLocksmith4
“I’d also consider filing a harassment claim against the HOA board members for harassment of your son.”~throwawayact75
Others shared personal memories.
“There was an 11 pm curfew in my town for kids under 18.”
“The police would pick you up and put you in a ‘center’ until your parents came to get you.”
“It was just like a community hall room.”
“There was STILL an exclusion for driving to or from work.”
“You basically just couldn’t loiter.”
“This is ridiculous and I would look into it with a lawyer because it’s preventing legally authorized minors from working and that is generally a civil rights issue.”~biscuitboi967
Our international friends were very confused by the entire HOA concept.
“As a Brit HOA’s really confuse me – if you own a house, surely you own a house?”
“And no one should be able to take it away from you unless it’s the bank and you’ve had mortgage problems.”
“What happens if they foreclose the property and such?”
“You just don’t have a house anymore?”
“Then what happens with the mortgage and bank?”
“Are you paying for the mortgage of a house you no longer have? It honestly baffles me!”~BabemR0ze
Some responses were very detailed.
“What the f*ck is wrong with your HOA?”
“Review the terms of your HOA–preferably with a lawyer.”
“Unless the CC&Rs specify specifically that the HOA has the power to regulate the coming and going of individuals, they have no right to establish a curfew or fine for violations of curfew.”
“And what they’re engaging in is a form of extortion.”
“Further, an HOA cannot just make rules up on the fly.”
“Your CC&Rs should have a section on how new rules are propagated–and that’s not by the President of the HOA saying ‘screw kids’.”
“I would absolutely get a lawyer involved and write them a cease and desist letter, which is the first shot across their bow beyond ‘fuck off’.”
“And I would make sure that the members of your HOA board are made aware that you intend to hold them personally liable as well as the board liable as an entity.”
“(Have your lawyer phrase that last part in the letter.)”~w3woody
There were even logistics questions.
“Your HOA has gone above and beyond what they are actually allowed to do.”
“Was it put to a vote? Did more than 2/3 of the residents agree to it?”
“Do they understand that teenagers have f*cking lives?”
“My God, I hate my HOA with a burning passion, but yours is worse.”
“They cannot put a curfew on your child.”
“Can’t be done.”
“If you can’t afford a lawyer, contact the investigative reporter at the news outlet that you trust the most in your vicinity and watch them go to work on this.”~DizzyUpThaGirl
Rules are supposed to protect.
The whole point is the rule safeguards either a person or property (or both) and by following the rules everyone is better off.
That’s the idea anyway.
Unfortunately, that’s not always how it works.
We hope OP gets things settled with her HOA but whether that happens or not, remember to always be mindful of the rules you need to play by—and whether those rules are appropriate.